Assassination Politics

jim bell jdb10987 at
Sun Aug 1 23:07:34 PDT 2021

 This is Nick Roberts' "Libertarian Jackals" essay, which I haven't read so far.

"How can free men and women defend themselves cheaplyand effectively against the depredations of tyrants? Howcan this result be achieved morally? These questions arevery important, I believe, to the cause of liberty. This isbecause they are among the “toughies” - those problemswhich seem insoluble when arguing for anarcho-capitalism.Take the scenario that anarcho-capitalism comes about in aspecific territorial area. Say that certain parts of HomeCounties England, and some areas of Highland Britain declare UDI. Let’s call them the “Free Shires”, where no government exists between Kent and the Fens, or fromLancaster to Berwick. How will the people in these placeskeep out the armies of pre-existing dictatorships?The reasons for a government to invade the Free Shires areobvious. They will contain new, profitable, highly advancedfactories. Their labour force will be excellently educatedthanks to competitive schooling. The Free Shires will provide havens of liberty and achievement for the most enterprising, the most productive and determined professionalsand businessmen. The people and property of a free societyare attractive prizes for any latterday Alexander to seize.Part-time militia and imported mercenaries may prove toofew or too expensive to resist determined statist assaults.Besides, who wants a war on their home territory?Yet the rump of the United Kingdom, (or the People’s Republic of Britain), the Soviet Union and even an expansionist France may threaten the newly liberated free British.What is to be done? The libertarians cannot rely upon conscription or tax-funded armies. Is defence possible?MORALITY AND DEFENCEThe answer is yes. Firstly, however, the moral values whichunderpin liberty must be applied to any question of policy -including defence. Morality and effectiveness, I believe,must be the justifications and the attractions of anarchism.Morality in this case means that the libertarians’ defence..."
[end of partial quote]

    On Sunday, August 1, 2021, 10:53:54 PM PDT, jim bell <jdb10987 at> wrote:  
  On Sunday, August 1, 2021, 10:09:43 PM PDT, professor rat <pro2rat at> wrote:
 >Many great inventions were co-discoveries - calculus - evolution by natural-selections, etc.

>I have to wonder if APster markets isn't another one.  Clearly Mongo knew about them though regarding them as a bug rather than a feature. 
I wasn't aware of the existence of the Cypherpunks list until early-mid-February 1995.  I had put Part 1 of my Assassination Politics essay on a mail list Digitaliberty, by Bill Frezza, in early February 1995.  Somebody (I don't recall who; perhaps I never knew) copied it to Cypherpunks about February 14, 1995, and I was invited to CP.    (Bill Frezza soon enough found my AP idea 'too hot to handle', and I understood that.)
That record does not seem to reliably exist, however:  A few years ago, I discovered that the 1995 archive of Cypherpunks had been enormously tampered-with, removing almost all references to me, or "AP", or "assassination politics", etc.  This should have been quite obvious to anybody who perused the list, at least anybody who remembered some of the list events of 1995.  Looking at the archive, there were extended periods (months!) in which no emails appeared, presumably because ALL of them were about AP.  
This is the first I've heard about Nick Roberts, and his "Libertarian Jackals".  I'll have to contact him...
If, in early January 1995, somebody said to me, "Tim May", I would have immediately remembered (only) his very famous (at least among electrical engineers!) work, discovering that alpha particles (helium nuclei) seemed to be the cause of 'soft errors', data retention errors in dynamic RAMs (DRAMs).  Tim May apparently worked at Intel at Santa Clara, California.  When I began working at Intel, it was in Aloha, Oregon, at "Aloha 3", an engineering facility attached to Fabs 4 and 5.  I never met or communicated with him; perhaps he never came to Oregon, and I never went to any other Intel facility than those in Aloha or Hillsboro Oregon.  
I later (mid-1995 or 1996) discovered that May and a few others had postulated the existence of 'assassination markets', about 1989 and 1990.  But, I didn't know about that until 1995.  And, my understanding was, their idea amounted to:
     "Anonymous person A anonymously hires anonymous person B to kill person C".
It was certainly a idea worth discussing.  What I "brought to the party", with my AP essay, were two concepts that only later were given these names:
1.  "Crowdfunding".   The idea that instead of only one person hiring to see a politican dead, thousands or more such people could pool their money and donate to a fund.  Without this idea, it would be extremely unlikely that only one person would be willing to donate 'enough' money to see someone else dead, especially a prominent politican or government employee.  
2.  "Crowdsourcing".  The idea that instead of hiring ONLY ONE potential assassin, in principle everybody in the world would be offered the prize.   One big advantage to this is that it would be an enormous advantage to the target to know that ONLY ONE person is coming for him.  Rather, why not let him know that everyone in the world might be interested in this bounty?  How would he protect himself against...everybody?

>Then STIFFS dotcom started sometime in the 1990's. 

>Jim Bell's deathly silence every time they get mentioned is beginning to look suspicious.

I had, and have, nothing against your STIFFS idea.  Nor did I ever object to it.  Anything that works, I say.
                Jim Bell

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